“Fired” Treasures from Around the Globe: The New York Ceramics & Glass Fair at the Bohemian National Hall

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Bourke de Vries, Peacock, Ferrin Gallery.

Bourke de Vries, Peacock, Ferrin Gallery.

The New York Ceramics & Glass Fair
Bohemian National Hall
January 18-21, 2018

The New York Ceramic and Glass Fair, at Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street,  is packed with historic and contemporary works that span five centuries and come from all over the globe. This is the only fair of its kind in the United States specializing in ceramics, pottery and glass from the 17th-21st centuries. The show is chock full of works ranging from modern studio pottery to 18th century Staffordshire with everything in between, and attended by collectors, curators and just plain people who enjoy looking at beautiful and/or interesting objects.

Among the exhibitors:

Ferrin Contemporary has Peacock I by Bourke de Vries, a fanciful, entertaining work that incorporates a 20th century Chinese porcelain bird with a tail of 18th century Chinese porcelain fragments—a clever way to show them.

A leopard-topped vessel with three dimensional fruit and other leopards below from the Pascoe Gallery caught my eye, especially as I lovingly recall seeing leopards up-close-and-personal during recent visit to South Africa.

Artist, Katharine Huston makes exquisite botanical pieces—fruit, vegetables, leaves and flowers—by sculpting hard paste porcelain and decorating it with a broad range of color overglazes. Her eggplant as well as a piece incorporating an open pomegranate with its tiny seeds caught my eye with their wonderful colors and incredible attention to detail.

Tobacco-leaf pattern plates from the Quinlong Period (roughly 1785) are from Maria and Peter Warren. The plates are about nine inches in diameter and each is painted with a large flower surrounded by leaves in vibrant tones of blue, yellow and green.

Martha Rieger, Emergence

Martha Rieger, Emergence

For me, the star of the show was the work of Israeli contemporary sculptor and ceramic artist, Martha Rieger, who also works in Brazil and Jingdezhen, China. Her Pomegranate Series at this show is eye-catching, with a rough gray exterior in dramatic contrast to shining gold and silver interiors. The irregular shapes are exciting as are her techniques including one involving a spring-loaded wire that produces intriguing lines on the finished piece. Not only a talented artist, Rieger is a delightful woman who loves explaining her work.

In addition to the exhibition, the program includes lectures on topics including Channeling Josiah Wedgewood; Time Travel in a Period Room and American Studio Pottery: Making of a Movement, with talks by scholars, curators and ceramicists.

The Ceramics & Glass Fair draws from the worlds’ finest galleries specializing in porcelain, pottery, glass, cloisonné, and enamels. This is the event’s nineteenth year. The lineup of exhibitors offering all things “fired “continues  to swell as visitors come to buy, peruse or simply enjoy the lovely objects on display.

The Bohemian Spirit Restaurant on the building’s ground floor, is open during the show with a special lunch menu. For more information: www.nyceramicsandglass.com

Mari S. Gold

About Mari S. Gold

Mari S. Gold is a freelance writer who contributes to many magazines and websites. Her blog, But I Digress… , on cultural events, travel, food  and other topics is at www.marigoldonline.net. She lives in New York City.

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